Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 22, 2016

I want to live in Pistoia

Pistoia is a beautiful, sophisticated, modern city in an ancient setting. There are wonderful old buildings…as you would expect.




My past visits to Pistoia have been day trips, but this time I stayed overnight. The city comes alive as the sun goes down. People are out walking, shopping and the restaurants begin to fill. The atmosphere is fun and vibrant.



Pistoians have an excellent selection of stylish shops. More investigation is needed.


The food markets are full of delicious things.


I was most fortunate to have the charming, beautiful and stylish Michela Ricciarella to show me her favourite things. She is a tour leader and has to be Pistoia’s best ambassador. She loves the city and knows it like the back of her hand.


Michele invited me to the family restaurant, Pollo d’Oro, Golden Chicken. The restaurant was begun by her husband, Stefano Parenti’s father, who famously brought the first rotisserie to Pistoia, hence the golden chickens.

The ground floor of the restaurant is modern and spacious. The cellar is more traditional and cosy.

Pollo d'Oro Pistoia

We had a delicious pizza with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and nduja, a spicy Sicilian salami on a great base. It is easy to see why the restaurant has been popular since its inception in 1962.

Pollo d'Oro Pistoia

Thank you Michela for a wonderful time in Pistoia. I like that the city is not overrun with tourists. I saw just one group while I was there. The atmosphere is lively and fun and there is much to see and do…I could happily move in.

I can’t leave Pistoia without a visit to Cafe le Damier in Via della Madonna. They do the best pastries and coffee.


Look for Michela’s blog… She writes with love for her home town and her enthusiasm is infectious.

I stayed at a gorgeous B&B recommended by Michela. It is very close to the centre of town and is elegant and charming. Locanda San Marco…Via Porta San Marco, 28…


  1. Pistoia has been on our list to visit during our stays in Lucca and this post just sealed the deal. It was also just named on Lonely Planet’s ‘best places to travel in 2017’ and has been chosen the Italian culture capital for 2017. Pistoia 2017 here we come-and not a moment too soon! Thanks Debra, as always, terrific photography!

    • Michela is excited about next year. I am planning several visits. Take a look at her blog. If you need a guide, she is the best.

  2. Grazie Debra I checked out Michela’s blog and she writes also on Sardinia so since we are heading there checking for tips.

    • Michela has a house in Sardinia and they go every summer.

  3. I will be doing more posts on Pistoia, including the stunning churches.

  4. Looks a great place!

    • It is wonderful.i will be returning to Pistoia.

  5. Sounds wonderful. As we are here at this time I think we shall do a day trip to Pistoia this week. Hopefully it’s easy to access by car.

    • It is. Take the Autostrada towards Florence and look for the Pistoia exit. I parked at the Petrini car park near the station. €2 per day.

  6. Always lovely to see a place with a local….they know all the highlights to show you and of course the best eateries. Looking forward to seeing some more posts of Pistoia.

    • There will be more!

  7. On my list for next time – Deb

    • I am sure you will love it.

  8. It is a beautiful city, full of character.

    • I really like Pistoia, I plan to visit often.

  9. You can bet your bottom dollar (or euro) that I’ll be visiting Pistoia again next year.

    • It has been named city of art for next year, there will be lots on.

  10. Reblogged this on passion4food4fashion.

  11. Research is indeed called for – you are a dedicated sleuth!

    • I do find the afternoon closing a bit of a pest. It really chops into shopping time.

  12. And of course it’s home to the first rate Pistoia Blues Festival each year with top-line international artists,

    • Pistoia has lots of great things to do.

  13. Pistoia was on my list this summer and I never made it 🙁 After reading this, I especially regret missing it! Hope to get there some day. Enjoyed your post on Studentessa Matta this week too, and left you a comment there. 🙂

    • I hope you visit Pistoia on your next trip, it is excellent. Thanks for commenting on the other blog. I have along history with Italy.

  14. We are booked to stay 3 nights in November at the hotel. Looking forward to seeing Michela again. She is SO charming, it is scary! LOL! She also referred us to this hotel for our visit – we booked the last room available for the time we needed. Whew! Lucky!

  15. […] October I rediscovered Pistoia and fell in love with the town. It has been named city of Art and Culture for 2017 and it is easy […]

  16. […] credit) was on my list this summer, but I never made it. Reading this post from Debra Kolka, I regret missing it! But given that Pistoia is an easy train ride from […]

  17. […] чрез Искам да живея в Пистоя – Бани ди Лука и Отвъд […]

  18. We loved Pistoia too and next time plan an overnighter –

    • Yes, it is lovely at night. You get to see a different side of the city and there are lots of wonderful restaurants to try…maybe a couple of nights

  19. […] I want to live in Pistoia […]

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